What is high-functioning-depression and how to recognize if someone you love is suffering from it?

Millions of people suffer from debilitating depression. They sleep for days, forget responsibilities and even entertain suicidal thoughts.

Severe depression of this type basically takes away the zeal for life and replaces this feeling with hopelessness and the inability to think clearly. It doesn’t seem like there could be any worse ailment… but there is.

High-Functioning Depression

There’s another form of depression which causes concern. It’s a type of depression which is far more dangerous than severe depression. This ailment is called high-functioning depression, and it’s so dangerous because it is deceptive.

While it’s easy to see the signs of ordinary depression, it takes a little wisdom to notice the signs that someone is suffering from a high-functioning form of this disease. In case you don’t know what to look for, here are a few indicators.

1. High functioning depression may show up under the guise of anxiety.

Watch closely as your loved one fidgets or feels uncomfortable in a room full of people. If suffering from depression, they may try anything possible to find a way out of the situation.

2. Those who suffer from high-functioning depression will tend to be over-achievers.

They will always look for projects to finish and complicated tasks to perform. Why? This is because depression is always driving them to better themselves in hopes of self-redemption and acceptance.

3. Getting upset about small things is a sign that someone may have bigger problems.

If spilling a drink or losing a pen causes someone to go into a rage, then they could be a high-functioning depressive.

4. High-functioning depressives are often prone to substance abuse.

In order to adapt to their depression, the mentally ill will sometimes self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. This may even cause them to seem lively and outgoing, quite the opposite from being depressed.

5. Pay attention to anyone who seems to be prone to injuries and accidents.

They may be suffering from high-functioning depression and unable to focus on life’s simple tasks. They become clumsy while trying to ensure that no one notices their mental state.

6. Lack of self-care.

Those who are suffering from high-functioning depression will sometimes fail to take care of basic physical hygiene and appearance. Because of the lows of the depression, self-care falls in the background.

Unfortunately, high-functioning depression takes the guise that everything is fine when it’s really far from the truth. There are numerous other indicators which point toward a serious underlying problem.

If someone you love seems a little “too put together”, you might want to pay a little more attention. They could be a high-functioning depressive.

There is good news, however. Most high-functioning depressives respond positively to treatments and therapy. As determined as depression is, those who can function in society with the disease can be much more determined to conquer the illness.

They are driven in their attempts to hide their sickness and can be driven to become something better.

Whether it’s traditional therapy or spiritual and natural alternatives, high-functioning depressives stand a great chance of becoming productive and loved citizens, indistinguishable from any of us.

Never give up. Depression doesn’t have to be a life sentence.


  1. https://www.nimh.nih.gov
  2. https://lsa.umich.edu

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Otto Bhan

    Thanks for the insights. HF-Depressive

  2. Shelley Shackelford

    If someone I love meets many of these criteria, how is the best way for me to approach them about it? I want to help, but don’t want them to feel like I’m attacking or being accusatory. Please point me in the right direction, thanks in advance!

  3. MiJo

    How can you help someone who blocks you. Worst of all, accuses you of calling them crazy when all you want to do is get a diagnosis?

  4. axel

    nice article about high functioning deprssion

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